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Encyclopedia > Roman Emperor (Principate)

The office of Roman Emperor went through a complex evolution over the centuries of its existence. During its earliest phase, the Principate, the reality of autocratic rule was masked behind the forms and conventions of oligarchic self-government inherited from the Roman Republic. The emperor had no specific office unless he chose to occupy the Republican office of consul. Roman Emperor is the term historians use to refer to rulers of the Roman Empire, after the epoch conventionally named the Roman Republic. ... The Principate is, according to its etymological derivation from the Latin word princeps, meaning chief or first, the political regime dominated by such a head of state and government. ... An autocrat is generally speaking any ruler with absolute power; the term is now usually used in a negative sense (cf. ... Oligarch may refer to one of the folowing. ... See also Roman Republic (18th century) and Roman Republic (19th century). ... An emperor is a (male) monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. ... For modern diplomatic consuls, see Consulate general. ...

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Julio-Claudian Dynasty

The Julio-Claudian dynasty was composed of the Iulii Caesares and the Claudii Nerones, two distinguished patrician families in the waning days of the old Republic. The Iulii Caesares rose to absolute power in the Roman state in the person of the paterfamilias, Julius Caesar himself; upon his murder in 44 BC, the majority of his estate passed to his posthumously adopted son, Octavian, the grandson of Caesar's sister Julia. Octavian emerged from a series of civil wars as the sole master of the Roman world, and in January 27 BC was appointed princeps senatus and given the cognomen "Augustus" (L., "Majestic" or "Venerable"); henceforth he styled himself "Imperator Caesar Augustus". He continued to be elected consul ordinarius each year until 23 BC. Patricians were originally the elite caste in ancient Rome. ... Bust of Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (Classical Latin: IMP·C·IVLIVS·CAESAR·DIVVS) (b. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 90s BC 80s BC 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC - 40s BC - 30s BC 20s BC 10s BC 0s BC 0s Years: 49 BC 48 BC 47 BC 46 BC 45 BC 44 BC 43 BC 42 BC 41 BC... Bust of Augustus Caesar Augustus redirects here. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC - 20s BC - 10s BC 0s 10s 20s 30s Years: 32 BC 31 BC 30 BC 29 BC 28 BC 27 BC 26 BC 25 BC 24 BC 23 BC 22... The princeps senatus (plural principes senatus) was the leader of the Roman senate. ... ... For modern diplomatic consuls, see Consulate general. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC - 20s BC - 10s BC 0s 10s 20s 30s Years: 28 BC 27 BC 26 BC 25 BC 24 BC 23 BC 22 BC 21 BC 20 BC 19 BC 18...


Historians customarily mark the "First Settlement" of 27 as inaugurating Caesar Augustus's reign as Emperor. This is generally misleading, as his constitutional position that year was little different from his constitutional position as early as July 32 BC (when he provoked war with Cleopatra VII of Egypt as a means of ridding himself of his rival Mark Antony), except that he now held the principate of the senate (an office with chiefly parliamentary and ceremonial functions) and bore an honorific surname. A far more important development was the "Second Settlement" of 23 BC, when Caesar Augustus accepted tribunicia potestas for life and imperium maius proconsulare. Two further developments concluded the establishment of the Imperial dignity: Caesar Augustus accepted imperium consulare on an ad personam basis in 19 BC and was elected pontifex maximus in 13 BC. Thus the Imperial dignity was fully established as the extraordinary concentration of ordinary powers and immunities. Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 80s BC 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC - 30s BC - 20s BC 10s BC 0s 10s 20s Years: 37 BC 36 BC 35 BC 34 BC 33 BC 32 BC 31 BC 30 BC 29 BC 28 BC... Egyptian statue of Cleopatra VII Cleopatra VII Philopator (January 69 BC – August 12, 30 BC) was queen of ancient Egypt, the last member of the Ptolemaic dynasty and hence the last Hellenistic ruler of Egypt. ... Bust of Mark Antony Marcus Antonius (Latin: M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N¹) (ca. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC - 20s BC - 10s BC 0s 10s 20s 30s Years: 28 BC 27 BC 26 BC 25 BC 24 BC 23 BC 22 BC 21 BC 20 BC 19 BC 18... Imperium can, in a broad sense, be translated as power. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC - 10s BC - 0s 10s 20s 30s 40s Years: 24 BC 23 BC 22 BC 21 BC 20 BC 19 BC 18 BC 17 BC 16 BC 15 BC 14 BC... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC - 10s BC - 0s 10s 20s 30s 40s Years: 18 BC 17 BC 16 BC 15 BC 14 BC 13 BC 12 BC 11 BC 10 BC 9 BC 8 BC...


Julio-Claudian Emperors

Bust of Augustus Caesar Augustus redirects here. ... Events First year of tianfeng era of the Chinese Xin Dynasty. ... Marcus Agrippa Agrippa redirects here. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC - 10s BC - 0s 10s 20s 30s 40s Years: 23 BC 22 BC 21 BC 20 BC 19 BC 18 BC 17 BC 16 BC 15 BC 14 BC 13 BC... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC - 10s BC - 0s 10s 20s 30s 40s Years: 17 BC 16 BC 15 BC 14 BC 13 BC 12 BC 11 BC 10 BC 9 BC 8 BC 7 BC... A bust of younger Emperor Tiberius For the city in Israel, see Tiberias. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC 10s BC - 0s BC - 0s 10s 20s 30s 40s 11 BC 10 BC 9 BC 8 BC 7 BC 6 BC 5 BC 4 BC 3 BC 2 BC 1 BC 1... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC 10s BC - 0s BC - 0s 10s 20s 30s 40s 6 BC 5 BC 4 BC 3 BC 2 BC 1 BC 1 2 3 4 // Events Births December 25 - Jesus (died about...   This article is about the year 4. ... Events First year of tianfeng era of the Chinese Xin Dynasty. ... A bust of younger Emperor Tiberius For the city in Israel, see Tiberias. ... Events First year of tianfeng era of the Chinese Xin Dynasty. ... Events March 18 - The Roman Senate annuls Tiberius will and proclaims Caligula Roman Emperor. ... Gaius Caesar Germanicus Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus (August 31, 12 – January 24, 41), most commonly known as Caligula, was the third Roman Emperor and third member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, ruling from 37 to 41. ... Events March 18 - The Roman Senate annuls Tiberius will and proclaims Caligula Roman Emperor. ... For alternate uses, see Number 41. ... A statue of Emperor Claudius Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (August 1, 10 BC–October 13, 54), previously Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus, was the fourth Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, ruling from January 24, 41 to his death in 54. ... For alternate uses, see Number 41. ... Events October 13 - Roman Empire emperor Claudius dies after being poisoned by Agrippina, his wife and niece. ... Nero Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (December 15, 37–June 9, 68), born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, also called (50–54) Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, was the fifth and last Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. ... Events October 13 - Roman Empire emperor Claudius dies after being poisoned by Agrippina, his wife and niece. ... Centuries: 1st century BCE - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 10s 20s 30s 40s 50s - 60s - 70s 80s 90s 100s 110s Years: 63 64 65 66 67 - 68 - 69 70 71 72 73 Events June 9 - Roman Emperor Nero commits suicide. ...

Dynastic Relationships

See also: Julio-Claudian family tree

Caesar Augustus's third wife Livia Drusilla (subsequently "Julia Augusta") had previously borne two children by her first husband, Tiberius Claudius Nero: Tiberius and Drusus. Tiberius's second wife was Julia Caesaris, Marcus Agrippa's widow (his first wife had been Vipsania, Agrippa's daughter by his first marriage); Caesar Augustus adopted Tiberius on June 26, 4, whereupon Tiberius himself adopted his brother Drusus's son by Mark Antony's daughter, Germanicus Julius Caesar. Germanicus married Vipsania Agrippina, Agrippa's daughter by Julia and Tiberius's stepdaughter, and had by her one surviving son, Gaius "Caligula" ("Little Boots"), and a daughter, Julia Agrippina, whose second husband was Germanicus's brother by blood, Claudius (she was his fourth wife); Agrippina had already borne a son, Lucius, whom Claudius adopted under the name Nero in 40; Nero married Claudius's daughter Octavia in 53. The Julio-Claudian dynasty of the early Roman Empire has a family tree complicated by multiple marriages between the members of the gens Julia and the gens Claudia. ... Livia Livia Drusa Augusta, Livia Drusilla, or Julia Augusta (58 BC-AD 29) was the wife of Caesar Augustus and the most powerful woman in Roman history, acting several times as regent and being Augustus faithful advisor. ... Bust of Nero Claudius Drusus, in the Musée du Cinquantinaire, Brussels Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, born Decimus Claudius Drusus and variously called Drusus, Drusus I or Drusus the Elder (38 - 9 BC) was the younger son of Livia, wife of Augustus Caesar, and her first husband, Tiberius Claudius Nero. ... Julia Caesaris Julia Caesaris is the name of all women in the Julii Caesares patrician family (to which, for instance Julius Caesar and Caesar Augustus belonged), since feminine names were their fathers gens and cognomen declined in the female form. ... Vipsania Agrippina (36 BC-20 AD) was the daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa from his first wife Pomponia Caecilia Attica, granddaughter of Ciceros friend and knight Titus Pomponius Atticus. ... June 26 is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 188 days remaining. ...   This article is about the year 4. ... Bust of Germanicus in the Louvre Germanicus Julius Caesar Claudianus, possibly Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus before adoption (15 BC–AD October 10, 19) was a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty of the early Roman Empire. ... Agrippina the Elder Julia Vipsania Agrippina (circa 14 BC– AD 33), known as Agrippina Major (Agrippina the Elder), was one of the most powerful women in the Roman Empire in the early 1st century AD. She was the daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa by his third wife Julia Caesaris, was... Julia Vipsania Agrippina Minor or Agrippina Minor (Latin for the younger) (November 7, AD 15 – March 59), often called Agrippinilla to distinguish her from her mother, was the daughter of Germanicus and Agrippina Major. ... For alternate uses, see Number 40. ... Octavia was the name of three women of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty of ancient Rome: two were sisters of Augustus Caesar, and the younger was the daughter of Claudius and wife of Nero. ... For other uses, see number 53. ...


Year of the Four Emperors

The year 69 is often called the "Year of the Four Emperors" because it saw four usurpers successively claim the purple. The fourth Emperor is listed in the next section due to dynastic considerations. Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 10s 20s 30s 40s 50s - 60s - 70s 80s 90s 100s 110s Years: 64 65 66 67 68 - 69 - 70 71 72 73 74 Events The Year of the four emperors: After Neros death, Galba, Otho and Vitellius are all Roman... The forced suicide of emperor Nero, in 68 AD, was followed by a brief period of civil war (the first Roman civil war since Antonys death in 31 BC) known as the Year of the four emperors. ... Usurpers were a common feature of the late Roman Empire, especially from the so-called crisis of the third century onwards, when political instability became the rule. ...

  • Galba ("Ser. Galba Imp. Caesar Aug."; b. Ser. Sulpicius Galba), 6869
  • Otho ("Imp. M. Otho Caesar Aug."; b. M. Salvius Otho), 69
  • Vitellius ("A. Vitellius Germ. Imp. Aug."; b. A. Vitellius), 69

Nero committed suicide on June 9, 68, to escape rebellious soldiers loyal to the disloyal Galba, governor of Hispania Tarraconensis (south-eastern Spain). Galba was deposed in January 69 by a disloyal member of his own entourage, Otho (Nero's governor of Lusitania, i.e., western Spain), who was in turn displaced in April by Vitellius (Nero's governor of Germania Inferior). In late December, Vitellius was deposed by the governor of Judaea, Vespasianus (see below). Head of Galba at the Louvre. ... Centuries: 1st century BCE - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 10s 20s 30s 40s 50s - 60s - 70s 80s 90s 100s 110s Years: 63 64 65 66 67 - 68 - 69 70 71 72 73 Events June 9 - Roman Emperor Nero commits suicide. ... Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 10s 20s 30s 40s 50s - 60s - 70s 80s 90s 100s 110s Years: 64 65 66 67 68 - 69 - 70 71 72 73 74 Events The Year of the four emperors: After Neros death, Galba, Otho and Vitellius are all Roman... Emperor Otho. ... Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 10s 20s 30s 40s 50s - 60s - 70s 80s 90s 100s 110s Years: 64 65 66 67 68 - 69 - 70 71 72 73 74 Events The Year of the four emperors: After Neros death, Galba, Otho and Vitellius are all Roman... Vitellius, Museo Nazionale della Cività Romana, Rome Aulus Vitellius Germanicus (September 24 AD 15–December 22, 69) was Roman Emperor from April 17 69 to December 22 of the same year, one of the emperors in the Year of the four emperors. He was the son of Lucius Vitellius, who... Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 10s 20s 30s 40s 50s - 60s - 70s 80s 90s 100s 110s Years: 64 65 66 67 68 - 69 - 70 71 72 73 74 Events The Year of the four emperors: After Neros death, Galba, Otho and Vitellius are all Roman... June 9 is the 160th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (161st in leap years), with 205 days remaining. ... Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 10s 20s 30s 40s 50s - 60s - 70s 80s 90s 100s 110s Years: 64 65 66 67 68 - 69 - 70 71 72 73 74 Events The Year of the four emperors: After Neros death, Galba, Otho and Vitellius are all Roman... Roman province of Lusitania, 120 AD Lusitania, an ancient Roman province approximately including current Portugal (except for the area between the rivers Douro and Minho) and part of western current Spain (specifically the present autonomous community Extremadura), named after the Lusitani or Lusitanian people. ... Desert hills in southern Judea, looking east from the town of Arad Judea or Judaea (יהודה Praise, Standard Hebrew Yəhuda, Tiberian Hebrew Yəhûḏāh) is a term used for the mountainous southern part of historic Palestine, an area now divided between Israel, Jordan and the West Bank. ...


Flavian Dynasty

The Flavian dynasty was composed of the Flavii Vespasiani, a middle-class family of plebeian stock. A relatively short-lived dynasty of 30 years, the Flavians confirmed the use of "Caesar" to confirm the hereditary nature of the Imperial dignity (Vespasian gave both his sons this rank, and is said to have informed the Senate that one of his sons would succeed him or no one would). Domitian made himself extremely unpopular by his autocratic manner, which was a departure from the traditional fiction that the Emperor was merely first among equals (primus inter pares). In Ancient Rome, the plebs was the general body of Roman citizens, distinct from the privileged class of the patricians. ... Emperor Vespasian Caesar Vespasianus Augustus (November 18, 9 – June 23, 79), originally known as Titus Flavius Vespasianus and best known as Vespasian, was the emperor of Rome from 69 to 79. ... Domitian bust in the Louvre Titus Flavius Domitianus (24 October 51 – 18 September 96), commonly known as Domitian, was a Roman emperor of the gens Flavia. ...


Flavian Emperors

  • Vespasian ("Imp. T. Flavius Vespasianus Caesar"; b. T. Flavius Vespasianus), 6979
  • Titus ("Imp. T. Caesar Vespasianus Aug."; b. T. Flavius Vespasianus), 7981
    • Note: Titus had been co-Emperor with Vespasianus (as "Imp. T. Caesar Vespasianus") from 71 until his own accession to the purple
  • Domitian ("Imp. Caesar Domitianus Aug."; b. T. Flavius Domitianus), 8196

Emperor Vespasian Caesar Vespasianus Augustus (November 18, 9 – June 23, 79), originally known as Titus Flavius Vespasianus and best known as Vespasian, was the emperor of Rome from 69 to 79. ... Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 10s 20s 30s 40s 50s - 60s - 70s 80s 90s 100s 110s Years: 64 65 66 67 68 - 69 - 70 71 72 73 74 Events The Year of the four emperors: After Neros death, Galba, Otho and Vitellius are all Roman... AD79 Events June 23 - Titus succeeds his father Vespasian as Roman emperor. ... This is about the emperor of ancient Rome. ... Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s - 70s - 80s 90s 100s 110s 120s Years: 66 67 68 69 70 - 71 - 72 73 74 75 76 Events The Romans establish a fortress at York (Eboracum), as a base for their northern forces. ... AD79 Events June 23 - Titus succeeds his father Vespasian as Roman emperor. ... This is about the emperor of ancient Rome. ... AD79 Events June 23 - Titus succeeds his father Vespasian as Roman emperor. ... Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 0s BC - 0s - 10s - 20s - 30s - 40s - 50s - 60s - 70s - 80s - 90s - 100s Years: 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 Events Domitian succeeds his brother Titus Flavius as emperor of the Roman Empire. ... Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s - 70s - 80s 90s 100s 110s 120s Years: 66 67 68 69 70 - 71 - 72 73 74 75 76 Events The Romans establish a fortress at York (Eboracum), as a base for their northern forces. ... Domitian bust in the Louvre Titus Flavius Domitianus (24 October 51 – 18 September 96), commonly known as Domitian, was a Roman emperor of the gens Flavia. ... Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 0s BC - 0s - 10s - 20s - 30s - 40s - 50s - 60s - 70s - 80s - 90s - 100s Years: 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 Events Domitian succeeds his brother Titus Flavius as emperor of the Roman Empire. ... For other uses, see number 96. ...

Dynastic Relationships

Vespasian's wife Flavia Domitilla bore him a daughter (Flavia Domitilla) and two sons (Titus and Domitian).


Nervan-Antonine Dynasty

The Nervan-Antonine dynasty was a largely artificial one, chiefly built out more of adoption than blood relations, as in the Julio-Claudian or Flavian dynasties (the first Emperor of this dynasty was an elderly, childless man, from the noble Cocceii Nervae). The Nervan-Antonine dynasty produced the famous "Five Good Emperors", and the first non-Italian Roman Emperors, the Spaniards Trajanus and Hadrianus. The Nervan-Antonine dynasty also marks the first time that an Emperor was depicted with a beard (Emperor Hadrianus), and one of the first times that a deceased Emperor was inhumed rather than cremated (Antoninus Pius). Note that the Nervan-Antonine Emperors adopted the regularised style Imperator Caesar NN. Augustus, whereas there had hitherto been considerable variation. The Five Good Emperors. ... Emperor Trajan Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus (September 18, 53 – August 9, 117), Roman Emperor (98-117), commonly called Trajan, was the second of the so-called Five Good Emperors of the Roman Empire. ... A bust of Hadrian from a Venice museum Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus (January 24, 76–July 10, 138), known as Hadrian in English, was Roman emperor from 117–138, and a member of the gens Aelia. ... Emperor Antoninus Pius Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus Pius (September 19, 86–March 7, 161) was Roman emperor from 138 to 161. ...


Nervan-Antonine Emperors

  • Nerva ("Imp. Nerva Caesar Aug."; b. M. Cocceius Nerva), 9698
  • Trajanus ("Imp. Caesar Nerva Traianus Aug."; b. M. Ulpius Traianus), 98117
    • Note: Trajanus had been co-Emperor with Nerva from 97 until his own accession to the purple
  • Hadrianus ("Imp. Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Aug."; b. P. Aelius Hadrianus), 117138
  • Antoninus Pius ("Imp. T. Aelius Caesar Antoninus"; b. T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionus Arrius Antoninus), 138161
  • Marcus Aurelius ("Imp. Caesar M. Aurelius Antoninus Augustus"; b. M. Annius Verus), 161180
    • Lucius Verus ("Imp. Caesar L. Aurelius Verus Aug."; b. L. Aelius Aurelius Commodus), 161169
    • Commodus ("Imp. Caesar L. Aurelius Commodus Aug."; b. L. Aurelius Commodus), 177180
  • Commodus ("Imp. Caesar L. Aurelius Commodus Aug."; b. L. Aurelius Commodus), 180193
    • Note: Commodus had been co-Emperor with Marcus Aurelius from 177 until his own accession to the purple

Marcus Cocceius Nerva (November 8, 30 AD–January 27, 98), Roman emperor (AD 96–98), was a member of the Italian nobility rather than one of the elite of Rome; in this he was like Vespasian, the founder of the Flavian dynasty. ... For other uses, see number 96. ... Events Roman emperor Nerva succeeded by Trajan Tacitus finished his Germania (approximate date) Births Deaths January 27: Nerva, Roman emperor Apollonius of Tyana, Greek/Roman philosopher and mathematician (b. ... Emperor Trajan Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus (September 18, 53 – August 9, 117), Roman Emperor (98-117), commonly called Trajan, was the second of the so-called Five Good Emperors of the Roman Empire. ... Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 0s BC - 0s - 10s - 20s - 30s - 40s - 50s - 60s - 70s - 80s - 90s - 100s Years: 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 Events Pope Evaristus succeeds Pope Clement I Tacitus advanced to consulship. ... Events Roman emperor Nerva succeeded by Trajan Tacitus finished his Germania (approximate date) Births Deaths January 27: Nerva, Roman emperor Apollonius of Tyana, Greek/Roman philosopher and mathematician (b. ... Emperor Trajan Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus (September 18, 53 – August 9, 117), Roman Emperor (98-117), commonly called Trajan, was the second of the so-called Five Good Emperors of the Roman Empire. ... Events Roman emperor Nerva succeeded by Trajan Tacitus finished his Germania (approximate date) Births Deaths January 27: Nerva, Roman emperor Apollonius of Tyana, Greek/Roman philosopher and mathematician (b. ... Events Emperor Trajan dies, leaving the Roman Empire at its maximal territorial extent. ... Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 0s BC - 0s - 10s - 20s - 30s - 40s - 50s - 60s - 70s - 80s - 90s - 100s Years: 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 Events Pope Evaristus succeeds Pope Clement I Tacitus advanced to consulship. ... A bust of Hadrian from a Venice museum Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus (January 24, 76–July 10, 138), known as Hadrian in English, was Roman emperor from 117–138, and a member of the gens Aelia. ... Events Emperor Trajan dies, leaving the Roman Empire at its maximal territorial extent. ... Events February 25 - Roman emperor Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius on condition that Antonius would adopt Marcus Annius Aurelius Verus. ... Emperor Antoninus Pius Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus Pius (September 19, 86–March 7, 161) was Roman emperor from 138 to 161. ... Events February 25 - Roman emperor Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius on condition that Antonius would adopt Marcus Annius Aurelius Verus. ... Events March 7 - Roman emperor Antoninus Pius dies and is succeeded by co-Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. ... Marcus Aurelius depicted in The Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, as translated by George Long Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (April 26, 121 – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. ... Events March 7 - Roman emperor Antoninus Pius dies and is succeeded by co-Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. ... For other uses, see number 180. ... Lucius Verus Verus is a disambiguation page linking to articles about more than one person of that name. ... Events March 7 - Roman emperor Antoninus Pius dies and is succeeded by co-Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. ... For other uses, see number 169. ... Commodus Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (originally Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus) (August 31, 161–December 31, 192) was a Roman Emperor who ruled from 180 to 192. ... Events A systematic persecution of Christians begins in Rome under Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. ... For other uses, see number 180. ... Commodus Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (originally Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus) (August 31, 161–December 31, 192) was a Roman Emperor who ruled from 180 to 192. ... For other uses, see number 180. ... Events June 1 – Roman Emperor Didius Julianus is assassinated in his palace. ... Events A systematic persecution of Christians begins in Rome under Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. ...

Dynastic Relationships

Nerva was a childless bachelor, and as a result adopted the governor of Germania Superior, Trajanus, in October 97. Trajanus's first cousin once removed, Hadrianus, was his ward and governor of Syria at the time of his guardian's death, and acceded to the purple without having been adopted by his predecessor. Hadrianus himself adopted Antoninus Pius on February 25, 138; at the same time, Antoninus Pius adopted Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. Marcus Aurelius was son of Trajanus's great-grandnephew (and consequently grandson of the half-sister of Hadrianus's wife), and subsequently married Antoninus Pius's daughter Annia Galeria Faustina, and Lucius Verus was son of Lucius Ceionius Commodus, who had been Hadrianus's first choice as Caesar and Emperor-designate. Marcus Aurelius's sixth son (of eight) was Commodus. Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 0s BC - 0s - 10s - 20s - 30s - 40s - 50s - 60s - 70s - 80s - 90s - 100s Years: 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 Events Pope Evaristus succeeds Pope Clement I Tacitus advanced to consulship. ... A cousin chart identifies the correct name for the relationship between two people with a common ancestor. ... February 25 is the 56th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Events February 25 - Roman emperor Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius on condition that Antonius would adopt Marcus Annius Aurelius Verus. ...


From Domitian to Severus

In March 193, the Imperial dignity was quite literally and quite openly auctioned off by the mutinous Praetorian Guard, with Titus Flavius Sulpicianus (father-in-law of the slain Emperor) and Marcus Didius Julianus bidding for the Guard's support for the purple. Events June 1 – Roman Emperor Didius Julianus is assassinated in his palace. ... The Praetorian Guard of Caesar Augustus - 1st century A.D. Depicted in a marble bas-relief. ... Didius Julianus Marcus Severus Didius Julianus (133–193) was emperor of the Roman Empire from 28 March until 1 June 193. ...

  • Pertinax ("Imp. Caesar P. Helvius Pertinax Aug."; b. P. Helvius Pertinax), 193
  • Didius Julianus ("Imp. Caesar M. Didius Severus Iulianus Aug."; b. M. Didius Iulianus), 193

Commodus's murder on December 31, 192 was immediately followed the next day by the accession of Pertinax, the urban prefect (praefectus urbanus). He was murdered by the Praetorian Guard in late March 193. The consular Didius Julianus was installed by Pertinax's murderers, and was himself murdered on June 1 by a partisan of the rebellious governor of Pannonia Superior, Septimius Severus (see below). Pertinax (Archaeological museum, Antakya) Publius Helvius Pertinax (August 1, 126 - March 28, 193) was proclaimed Roman Emperor the morning following the assassination of Commodus on December 31, AD 192. ... Events June 1 – Roman Emperor Didius Julianus is assassinated in his palace. ... Didius Julianus Marcus Severus Didius Julianus (133–193) was emperor of the Roman Empire from 28 March until 1 June 193. ... Events June 1 – Roman Emperor Didius Julianus is assassinated in his palace. ... December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Events The kingdom of Champa begins to control south and central Vietnam (approximate date). ... The Praetorian Guard of Caesar Augustus - 1st century A.D. Depicted in a marble bas-relief. ... Events June 1 – Roman Emperor Didius Julianus is assassinated in his palace. ... June 1 is the 152nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (153rd in leap years), with 213 days remaining. ...


Severan Dynasty

The short-lived Severan dynasty came into the purple primarily not by vote of the Senate like the Julio-Claudii but rather by the point of the sword like the Flavii. The founder of the dynasty, Lucius Septimius Severus, was descended from a provincial family from North Africa and is reputed to have kept his African accent until his death. To help bolster his hold on power, Septimius Severus identified himself with the cause of the late Pertinax (and incorporated this into his name), and was called by some "the Punic Sulla", a slur simultaneously pointing to his African origins and his utter ruthlessness. The Antonine Constitution of 212 granted full citizenship to all free men in the Empire. Septimius Severus alabaster bust. ... Punic (from Latin pūnicus) was a Latin version of the term Phoenician. (After the Punic Wars, Romans used this term as an adjective meaning treacherous.) In archaeological and linguistic usage, it refers to the Greco-Roman era culture and dialect of Carthage and its empire as distinct from their... Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (Latin: L·CORNELIVS·L·F·P·N·SVLLA·FELIX) ¹ (ca. ... Events Roman Emperor Caracalla decrees that freemen throughout the Roman Empire become Roman Citizens. ...

  • Septimius Severus ("Imp. Caesar L. Septimius Severus Pertinax Aug."; b. L. Septimius Severus), 193211
  • "Caracalla" ("Imp. Caesar M. Aurelius Antoninus Pius Aug."; b. L. Septimius Bassianus), 211217
    • "Caracalla" had been co-Emperor with Septimius Severus from 198 until 209, whereupon he was co-Emperor with Septimius Severus and Geta until his own accession to the purple jointly with Geta
    • Publius Septimius Geta ("Imp. Caesar P. Septimius Geta Aug."; b. P. Septimius Geta), 211
      • Note: Geta had been co-Emperor with Septimius Severus and "Caracalla" from 209 until his own accession to the purple jointly with Caracalla

Septimius Severus alabaster bust. ... Events June 1 – Roman Emperor Didius Julianus is assassinated in his palace. ... This article is about the year 211. ... Caracalla Caracalla (April 4, 186–April 8, 217) was emperor of the Roman Empire from AD 211–217. ... Events Publius Septimius Geta receives the title of Caesar. ... This article is about the year 211. ... Publius Septimius Geta Publius Septimius Geta (March 7, 189–December 211), was a Roman Emperor co-ruling with his father Septimius Severus and his older brother Caracalla from 209 to his death. ... Events Publius Septimius Geta receives the titles of Imperator and Augustus from his father, Roman emperor Septimius Severus. ... This article is about the year 211. ... Caracalla Caracalla (April 4, 186–April 8, 217) was emperor of the Roman Empire from AD 211–217. ... This article is about the year 211. ... Events Macrinus becomes Roman Emperor on the death of Caracalla. ... Events Publius Septimius Geta receives the title of Caesar. ... Events Publius Septimius Geta receives the titles of Imperator and Augustus from his father, Roman emperor Septimius Severus. ... Publius Septimius Geta Publius Septimius Geta (March 7, 189–December 211), was a Roman Emperor co-ruling with his father Septimius Severus and his older brother Caracalla from 209 to his death. ... This article is about the year 211. ... Events Publius Septimius Geta receives the titles of Imperator and Augustus from his father, Roman emperor Septimius Severus. ...

Dynastic Relationships

See also: Severan dynasty family tree

Septimius Severus's second wife Julia Domna bore him two sons, Lucius "Caracalla" ("Long Coat") and Geta. Caracalla was (falsely) rumoured to have fathered a bastard by his first cousin Julia Soaemis (daughter of his maternal aunt Julia Maesa); this rumoured bastard would later become "Elagabalus" (see below). This is a family tree of the Severan dynasty of the Roman Empire. ... Julia Domna Julia Domna (about 170-217), like her sister Julia Maesa, was a daughter of Julius Bassianus, priest of the sun god Heliogabalus, the patron god of Emesa in the Roman province of Syria. ... Julia Maesa (about 170- about 226) was daughter of Julius Bassianus, priest of the sun god Heliogabalus, the patron god of Emesa in the Roman province of Syria. ...


Macrinus and Diadumenianus

Macrinus came from an equestrian family; Dio Cassius writes that he was a Moor from Caesarea. Note that he did not style himself "Caesar", but did add "Severus" to his name and inserted Pius Felix before the title "Augustus". He raised his son Diadumenianus to be co-Emperor with him. Macrinus on an aureus. ... Dio Cassius Cocceianus (155–after 229), known in English as Dio Cassius or Cassius Dio, was a noted Roman historian and public servant. ... Cherchell or Cherchel is a seaport of Algeria. ... Marcus Opellius Antoninus Diadumenianus or Diadumenian , Roman Caesar (junior emperor), died 218 A.D. was the son of Emperor Macrinus who served his father briefly as Caesar (junior emperor) from May, 217 to 218 A.D. and as Augustus in 218. ...

  • Macrinus ("Imp. M. Opellius Severus Macrinus P.F. Augustus"; b. M. Opellius Macrinus), 217218
    • Diadumenianus ("Imp. Caesar M. Opellius Antoninus Diadumenianus Aug."; b. M. Opellius Diadumenianus), 218

Macrinus was praetorian prefect (praefectus praetorio) under "Caracalla", whom he may have conspired to murder in April 217. His wife Nonia Celsa bore him a son, Diadumenianus, whom he made co-Emperor in 218; both were executed by partisans of "Elagabalus" (see below). Macrinus on an aureus. ... Events Macrinus becomes Roman Emperor on the death of Caracalla. ... Events May 16 - Heliogabalus is acclaimed as Roman Emperor. ... Marcus Opellius Antoninus Diadumenianus or Diadumenian , Roman Caesar (junior emperor), died 218 A.D. was the son of Emperor Macrinus who served his father briefly as Caesar (junior emperor) from May, 217 to 218 A.D. and as Augustus in 218. ... Events May 16 - Heliogabalus is acclaimed as Roman Emperor. ... Events Macrinus becomes Roman Emperor on the death of Caracalla. ... Events May 16 - Heliogabalus is acclaimed as Roman Emperor. ... Varius Avitus Bassianus Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, (c. ...


Severan Dynasty (Restored)

The Severi, in addition to being the second dynasty d'épée, are also the first Roman dynasty to have been restored to the purple. The restoration, however, brought with it a decidedly bizarre character: the first of the restored Severan Emperors, a Syrian historically known as "Elagabalus" (also seen less correctly as "Heliogabalus") was already the hereditary high priest of an Oriental sun god, Elagabal. The restored Severi were also well-known for the autocratic power exercised by three Syrian princesses as the éminences grises, or power behind the throne: Elagabalus's mother Julia Soaemis and grandmother Julia Maesa, and Alexander Severus's mother Julia Mamaea; these women were in fact Emperors in all but name. Varius Avitus Bassianus Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, (c. ... Varius Avitus Bassianus Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, (c. ... The phrase power behind the throne refers to a person or group that informally exercises the real power of an office. ... Julia Maesa (about 170- about 226) was daughter of Julius Bassianus, priest of the sun god Heliogabalus, the patron god of Emesa in the Roman province of Syria. ... Image:Alexandennnnnnnnnnr severus. ... Julia Avita Mamaea (180- 235) was the daughter of Julia Maesa, a powerful Roman woman of Syrian origin, and Julius Avitus. ...

  • "Elagabalus" ("Imp. Caesar M. Aurelius Antoninus P.F. Aug."; b. Varius Avitus Bassianus), 218222
  • Alexander Severus ("Imp. Caesar M. Aurelius Severus Alexander P.F. Aug."; b. Bassianus Alexianus), 222235

Varius Avitus Bassianus Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, (c. ... Events May 16 - Heliogabalus is acclaimed as Roman Emperor. ... Events Pope Urban I succeeds Pope Callixtus I Roman Emperor Alexander Severus succeeds Heliogabalus Kingdom of Wu is established in China Sun Quan defeats Liu Bei at the Battle of Yi Ling Deaths March 11 - Roman Emperor Heliogabalus murdered Tertullian, theologian Pope Callixtus I Claudius Aelianus, teacher and rhetorician Ma... Image:Alexandennnnnnnnnnr severus. ... Events Pope Urban I succeeds Pope Callixtus I Roman Emperor Alexander Severus succeeds Heliogabalus Kingdom of Wu is established in China Sun Quan defeats Liu Bei at the Battle of Yi Ling Deaths March 11 - Roman Emperor Heliogabalus murdered Tertullian, theologian Pope Callixtus I Claudius Aelianus, teacher and rhetorician Ma... Events Maximinus Thrax becomes Roman Emperor. ...

Dynastic Relationships

See also: Severan dynasty family tree

"Elagabalus" was son of Sextus Varius Marcellus, a Syrian, and Julia Soaemis, daughter of Julia Maesa (the younger sister of Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus); he was therefore nephew of the late "Caracalla", whose natural son he claimed to be (note that he took the same name as Caracalla upon donning the purple). Elagabalus and Alexander Severus (also seen more correctly as "Severus Alexander") were first cousins; Alexander Severus's mother was Julia Mamaea, another daughter of Julia Maesa. This is a family tree of the Severan dynasty of the Roman Empire. ... Julia Domna Julia Domna (about 170-217), like her sister Julia Maesa, was a daughter of Julius Bassianus, priest of the sun god Heliogabalus, the patron god of Emesa in the Roman province of Syria. ...


See also

Roman Emperors by Epoch (see also: List - Concise List - Roman Empire)  
 Principate  Crisis of the 
 3rd Century 
 Dominate  Late Empire
(most Tetrarchies) Theodosian Dynasty
(Tetrarchy, unification
and final split)

Emperors of the
Western Empire
Roman Emperor is the term historians use to refer to rulers of the Roman Empire, after the epoch conventionally named the Roman Republic. ... This is a list of Roman Emperors with the dates they controlled the Roman Empire. ... This is the short overview of Roman Emperors: for more detail and explanation, see: list of Roman Emperors and Roman Emperor. ... The Roman Empire is the term conventionally used to describe the Ancient Roman polity in the centuries following its reorganization under the leadership of Octavian (better known as Caesar Augustus), until its radical reformation in what was later to be known as the Byzantine Empire. ... The Crisis of the Third Century marked the end of the Principate, the early phase of Imperial Roman government. ... The Crisis of the Third Century marked the end of the Principate, the early phase of Imperial Roman government. ... The accession to the purple on November 20, 284, of Diocletian, the lower-class, Greek-speaking Dalmatian commander of Caruss and Numerians household cavalry (protectores domestici), marked a major departure from traditional Roman constitutional theory regarding the Emperor, who was nominally first among equals; Diocletian introduced Oriental despotism... The office of Roman Emperor underwent significant turbulence in the fourth and fifth centuries, after assuming the trappings of Eastern despotism during the Dominate. ... The Julio-Claudian dynasty was the series of the first five Roman Emperors. ... The forced suicide of emperor Nero, in 68 AD, was followed by a brief period of civil war (the first Roman civil war since Antonys death in 31 BC) known as the Year of the four emperors. ... The Flavian dynasty was a series of three Roman Emperors who ruled from 69, the Year of the Four Emperors, to 96, when the last member was assassinated. ... The Five Good Emperors. ... The Severan dynasty is a lineage of Roman Emperors, reigning several decades from the late 2nd century to the early 3rd century. ... Barraks Emperor is the way Roman Emperors who ruled during 235–268 are collectively known. ... Several emperors of the Roman Empire were of Illyrian origin. ... The Gallic Empire (in Latin, imperium Galliarum) is the modern name for the independent realm that lived a brief existence during the Roman Empires Crisis of the Third Century, from 260 to 274. ... The Tetrarchs, a porphyry sculpture sacked from a Byzantine palace in 1204, Treasury of St. ... The Constantine Dynasty is an informal name for the loosely related ruling families of the Roman Empire from the rise of Diocletian in 284 to the death of Julian the Apostate in 363. ... The Valentinian Dynasty ruled the Roman Empire from 364 to 392. ... The House of Theodosius was a Roman family that rose to eminence in the waning days of the Roman Empire. ... The Western Roman Empire is the name given to the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 286. ...


Byzantine emperors This is a list of the Emperors of the late Roman Empire, called Byzantine. ...

→ (Italy:)
Barbarian kings

→ (Much later in Western Europe:)
The following is a list of barbarian kings of Italy: Maximinus Thrax (235-238) Odoacer (476-493) Ostrogothic Kings of Italy Theoderic (493-526) Athalaric (526-534) Theodahad (534-536) Witiges (536-540) Heldebadus (540-541) Totila (541-552) Teias (552) Teias was killed by the Byzantine general Narses, and...

Holy Roman Emperors

→ (Continuing in Eastern Europe:)
The Holy Roman Emperor was, with some variation, the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, the predecessor of modern Germany, during its existence from the 10th century until its collapse in 1806. ...

Byzantine emperors

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